Ahh, once a month cooking. It seems like such a good idea every time I think about it. It exhausts me every time I think about it! I have used some of the methods from the once a month cooking and made it quite a bit easier on myself. Here are some ideas to consider incorporating into your own meal plan if you're not quite ready to fill your freezer with 20 prepared meals in one day.
1. Pre-cook your meat. A lot of people buy 10 lbs of hamburger when it's on sale and portion it out. Why not cook it first? If you want to, you could just brown half for use in sauces and soups, and turn half into taco meat all in less than an hour! One pan to clean for that 10 lbs.
2. Plan for leftovers. By the same token, if I'm going to make a whole chicken, I make two (or three) and debone the second for later use in recipes that call for cooked chicken. Then I throw those chicken bones in my pasta pot make some homemade broth. (I use my pasta pot so I can lift the bones out of there!) A similar method works for roasts and hams.
3. Double your meal. If you're going to all the trouble to make one casserole, it's just as easy to make a second at the same time and freeze it before cooking. I like putting my extra meals in freezer bags. I freeze them flat, than organize them like records in my chest freezer. Don't forget to label- everything looks different when frozen!
When just the mention of once a month cooking makes me break out in a cold sweat, I pull out one of these ideas and get a little bit going. It works for me! Find out what others are trying at Works for me Wednesday.